SANTA FE — Bronze statues taken from a Santa Fe museum were found buried in a back yard about two months later, not far from where they were allegedly stolen.
Four bronze statues were stolen from the Santa Fe Children’s Museum around 2:30 a.m. Aug. 24, according to a search warrant affidavit filed in state District Court.
One depicted a boy playing a penny whistle while the others were of a girl with a book, a girl on a teeter-totter and a yellow and gray man with no arms. The total worth of the sculptures is over $20,000.
Santa Fe police were able to identify the three suspects on surveillance video as Adrian Bleamer, Tylor Schmidt and Victoria Turrietia.
Officers searched Bleamer’s home on East Coronado Road — which is described in the affidavit as within walking distance from the museum — on Monday and found two statues buried in the back yard covered by a cloth. Another statue was found in a pantry, and there’s no mention of the fourth statue in the affidavit.
Bleamer, 40, was booked into the Santa Fe County jail for receiving stolen property and was released Tuesday on an unsecured bond.
The court documents don’t mention why Bleamer took the statues or why he buried two of them. SFPD spokesman Greg Gurule couldn’t say why Schmidt and Turrietia haven’t been charged but added that there’s still an ongoing investigation.
Schmidt was arrested on unrelated charges two days before officers searched Bleamer’s home, according to jail records. He admitted to officers after his arrest that he, Bleamer and Turrietia took the sculptures, but he said he was under the impression that they had permission to take them.
“According to Officer (Dale) Meek, Mr. Schmidt told him he was told by Mr. Bleamer that the sculptures were given to him by a museum employee because the museum was clearing out the old sculptures and making way for new sculptures,” the affidavit says.
Schmidt said they took the sculptures back to Bleamer’s house, where Bleamer buried then them. Schmidt was able to describe to officers where the statues were buried.
The museum didn’t provide a comment on the theft Wednesday.